Imagine what life would be like if you could stop cold calling, door knocking or chasing after FSBOs – or at least cut down on those activities.
Ditching the more distasteful aspects of your real estate lead generation routine is possible, if you vow, right now, to chase after referrals, and get serious about your database.
Warm calls are so much more pleasant and knocking on doors where people are happy to see you beats the alternative.
Make building better relationships with people you already know, the center of your 2020 marketing plan.
How’s your sphere of influence?
Agents who have been in the business for more than a minute tell horror stories about friends and even family members who “forgot” that they were in real estate and listed their homes with another agent.
In fact, NAR statistics say that “The typical REALTOR® earned 13 percent of their business from repeat clients and 17 percent from referrals from past clients and customers.” (The study doesn’t explain what they mean by “customers.”)
Look at those numbers – they’re pathetic, aren’t they? Especially when NAR surveys say that nearly 90 percent of real estate consumers say they would use their agent again in the future.
Past clients know you and, hopefully, they like and trust you. Shouldn’t agents be getting more than 17 percent of their business from referrals from them?
We get it. Agents have a ton of irons in the fire during the typical work week and keeping in contact with their SOI typically ends up as a low priority.
What would happen, though, if you moved it up on the list? Made those warm contacts (instead of contacting strangers) a priority? You’ll end up top-of-mind with your sphere when someone mentions buying or selling a home.
Step 1 to get your real estate business on the referral track
Organize your database. Yeah, doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, but it’s necessary to keep you on track.
If you already have an organizational method, you’re one step ahead. If not, let’s create a simple one.
Start by grouping your contacts. There are many ways to group them, so choose labels that make sense to you. Some suggestions include:
- Hot leads (people you don’t know yet)
- Cold leads (again, people you don’t know)
- Sphere (or “family,” “friends” “ladies I play tennis with” “past clients”)
Feel free to create subgroups, if it will help you to stay organized. Some of these may include:
- Immediate family members
- Extended family
- Closest friends
- People you met through your kids
Thanks to the folks at TopProTraining.com for some of those ideas. Check out their list for more.
Kim Hughes at KimHughes.com suggests that the next step in setting up your database to help you succeed should be to go through all of the leads, checking the information you have on them and adding anything that comes to mind.
At a minimum, Hughes says you should have the contact’s full name and the name of immediate family members. Naturally, you won’t have family member info for some contacts, such as leads.
Pick up the phone and start calling people. Start with folks you know, like past clients, relatives and friends.
Tell them you’re updating your database and want to ensure you have their correct contact information:
- Verify that the addresses, both snail and email, are current.
- Best phone number to contact them.
- Birth date is an important one (folks LOVE getting birthday greetings). The birthdate might be a tough one to ask, but tell them you like to reach out to people on their birthdays. You don’t need a year, so that may make the question “Hey, when is your birthday?” a bit easier to ask.
Get ideas for these conversations at TheRealEstateTrainer.com.
Listen carefully to their end of the conversation for any tidbits you can add to their spot in your database – “something such as an upcoming surgery, new baby or vacation,” Hughes suggests.
Then schedule a follow-up call, or a reminder to send a gift or flowers, depending on what they’ve told you.
This is a project that, although it needs to get done sooner, rather than later, is one that can be done in chunks. Hughes brilliantly recommends starting the organization process with your past clients.
But do schedule those time chunks and vow to stick by the schedule. Before you know it, you’ll have an organized, clean database, making your real estate lead generation a snap.
Send out the Fall Maintenance postcard from the Content Card Series to your Sphere and Farm.
PLUS: When you have time…here are Free killer tools to help your success this year!
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